April 25, 2015

Nearly 50 Years Later, Mary Poppins Is Still One of the Best Movies Ever

Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins arriving at No. 17 Cherry Tree Lane

My schedule was completely reshuffled this afternoon because my grandmother and four-year-old niece stopped by for a wonderful surprise visit.  During the conversation, it came up that Ellie had never seen Mary Poppins.  Completely unacceptable!  We cancelled everything else for the day, bought it on Apple TV, made English tea with sugar and milk (though, she ended up opting for grape juice in a giant, sparkly champagne glass), and spent a few hours in the home of the Banks family at No. 17 Cherry Tree Lane.  The mess in France, the replatforming of the online businesses, and the rest can all wait.  This is far more important.

I forgot how good the music is.  For the past hour, I’ve walked around singing:

I feel a surge of deep satisfaction
Much as a king astride his noble steed
When I return from daily strife to hearth and wife
How pleasant is the life I lead

I run my home precisely on schedule
At six-o-one I march through my door
My slippers sherry and pipe are due at six-o-two
Consistent is the life I lead

It’s grand to be an Englishman in 1910
King Edward’s on the throne, it’s the age of men
I’m the lord of my castle, the sovereign, the liege
I treat my subjects — servants, children, wife —
With a firm but gentle hand: noblesse oblige

It’s six-o-three and the heirs to my dominion
Are scrubbed and tubbed and adequately fed
And so I’ll pat them on the head and send them off to bed
Ah lordly is the life I lead

And how Mary Poppins cunningly convinces Mr. Banks to spend more time with his children, while clearly patronizing him about the ridiculous notion that children should be as enthused about bank profits as he is when he hasn’t even taken the time to be part of their lives?  Genius.

And who else has songs about compounding, while simultaneously teaching you that money isn’t everything?  Only Mary Poppins.  Getting dividends, chattel, railways through Africa, and first and second trust deeds into good lyrics is no easy feat.

I’m thinking … now that my day is already changed, should I read, or play a strategy game, update my files on the home renovations, or go back to work?  My slippers, sherry, and pipe are due at 6:02 … consistent is the life I lead.  Hmm hmm … such good music.  

  • Ian Francis

    If it is possible for you to believe, living with Ashly for as long as I have, I have never seen Mary Poppins.  Somehow every time this comes up we get distracted by other goings on in the house.  I have a feeling that will change tonight if she reads this before I get home.

    • Joshua Kennon


      • Ian Francis

        Seriously.  I just realized now that I told you, Ashly is probably getting Skype messages notifying her of this fact.  Well now you know our schedule for the evening.

        • Joshua Kennon

          Haha! You know me well. I started to send her messages on Skype and then got distracted because that Human Touch AcuTouch 9500 massage chair showed up this morning. We were joking that during the next house visit, Ashly will probably live in the chair because it is so perfect. With a Chipotle within driving distance, we just need to find the next Kingdom Hearts, Fable, or the like and we might be able to send her into happiness overload.

          Of course, this inevitably lead to discussions about adding motorized wheels to it. For some reason, a lot of conversations end with the social paradigm of the jazzy, rascal, and hover-round scooter. I’m not sure why.

        • Joshua Kennon

          I had to add videos.  It was too tragic that you had never seen it.

        • Ian Francis

          Very nice.  Managed to get busy and not see it still, but hopefully this weekend.

  • apontius

    Josh, I have an autistic nephew that has burned through 5 copies of this movie…

    You couldn’t be more spot-on about the intrinsic value of such a classic as Marry Poppins! Glad to see you have taken the lessons to heart :)

    I miss our chats on Facebook, but I also understand you have to prioritize (although, I think you are still missing out on the social aspect of organic traffic :).

    • Joshua Kennon

      Likewise (about chatting on Facebook).  It’s interesting to see how it has influenced my time allocation.  I have an extension installed in Chrome called timeStats that monitors all Internet usage so I can see if I am working efficiently.  Nearly all of the time that I had spent over there is now focused on this blog.  It wasn’t planned; it seems like it slowly happened.